Training sessions help guards keep students safe

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To keep students safe as they travel to and from school, AAA East Central took matters into its own hands. 

Traffic safety adviser Terri Rae Anthony led crossing guard training sessions in August for Shaler Area and Penn Hills school districts. The sessions taught guards how to identify driver violations, stop traffic, use their whistles and maintain a positive public image. 

“For a lot of kids, this is their first role model for pedestrian safety,” Ms. Anthony said. “This is the person who teaches them to cross the street.” 

Shaler Police Sgt. Carl Funtal said his township’s crossing guards annually review the job’s guidelines. 

“Every year, we have a training to help them do their job better — how to stop cars, how to direct traffic, how to get kids on the bus safely,” he said. 

AAA offered the following tips for motorists as they pass through school zones:

■ Ditch distractions, and stay alert.

■ Expect pedestrians on sidewalks.

■ Come to a complete stop at stop signs.

■ Watch for bikes.

■ Do not pass stopped school buses. It’s dangerous and illegal.

■ Leave early for your destination. Avoid school zones, if possible.

■ Look for crossing guards to indicate that you’re approaching a school zone.

— Marisa Iati

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